According to an IAF statement, ‘he flew MiG-21 Type-96 aircraft solo, which is the oldest fighter fleet in the IAF inventory’.
The statement added:
Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa flew the same type of aircraft during Kargil Operations and carried out many night strike missions in the mountainous terrain.
He was also awarded the Yudh Sewa Medal (YSM) for his service during this period.
The MiG-21 Type 96 is the same aircraft operated by the air chief’s old No. 17 Squadron, which is currently number-plated and will be the first to receive the new Rafale aircraft.
The last air chief to fly the MiG-21 solo was Air Chief Marshal A.Y. Tipnis in 2002.